Mooting the re-introduction of cheetahs in Kuno Sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has rejected the claim that lions cannot co-exist with its faster cousin in the same territory.
It has also sought vacation of a May 8, 2012, SC stay order to pave the way for the implementation of its ambitious Rs 91.56 crore project to reintroduce the cheetah — which has disappeared from Indian forests.
The ministry’s affidavit was filed pursuant to an apex court order that raised fears about the cheetah's reintroduction, especially in the wake of the Centre's decision to move Gir Lions from Gujarat to Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. The court had also asked if there was enough prey for the cheetah to survive at Kuno.
Filed through advocate Wasim Qadri, the affidavit assured the court that importing of cheetahs to Kuno would not delay or affect the reintroduction of lions there. The ministry will not incur any cost for procuring the cheetahs, considering that Namibia is donating them to India.